4.5.17 SFC Policy Meeting
Members Present: Natalia, Sulan, Hassan, Monique, Elijah, Vince, Peace
Time Start: 7:15pm
Time End: 9:00pm
Peace: We talked about this a bit on Sunday but Tina was talking about sending a memo to the student orgs saying they don’t have to spend down their money because orgs keep asking her about it.
Vince: Yeah, like don’t waste it.
Peace: Tina was also talking about scholarships and was asking if we had policy around it. I was saying we could make it go through the Development Office but I don’t know if it’s weird for student money to go through the institution. But without policy on this it opens a lot of room for gaming the system.
Monique: Can’t groups do whatever they want with income?
Natalia: I think we should limit it to official scholarships - like the school has four or five scholarship funds set up - but we shouldn’t just let them pay other students because that’s a slippery slope.
Monique: What if an org wants to donate money for a scholarship and that fund wasn’t already set up?
Natalia: You can donate a scholarship to the college and write restrictions on how it’s used. Like this money can be used for academic scholarships, or it can be used for need-based scholarships, or this money can only be used for field hockey.
Vince: But you can’t make it for specific people.
Hassan: But if we did that would the money be part of their financial aid package or in addition to what they would get from financial aid?
Natalia: The first one.
Natalia: Even if you make it like a supplemental thing, the college will deduct it from their financial aid package.
Hassan: I think the only way we can make this work is if we run this?
Natalia: How would we run it?
Hassan: That’s something we’d have to figure out.
Monique: Then it becomes ad hoc but for scholarships.
Natalia: Yeah and then people would have to tell us their financial status which is inappropriate.
Monique: And then they’d want to give it to their friends and people they know.
Natalia: I also want to reemphasize that students telling us their financial status would be inappropriate and would make us all-knowing and give us way too much power.
Hassan: One thing we could look into is how OSCA does community service scholarships to people who apply and do 30 hours and win the lottery.
Elijah: It’s not a good look for it to be a random, philanthropy-type lottery when there are a bunch of students begging for money. I don’t think we’re qualified in clearance or experience to make that delineation of who gets that money.
Hassan: So our options are we have it go through the financial aid office and people aren’t really getting more money or we let what’s happening now keep happening which can lead to shady business, or we figure out a good way for student orgs to give money to students.
Vince: We can look into it more and look into the OSCA system.
Peace: Yeah and I can also look into the Development Office.
Vince: In the meantime I think it’s okay to set up policy that says it’s not allowed.
Monique: We got a couple of emails, one from Photo-Co-op asking when they find out the budget and if they could know their dollar amount earlier. And OCircus and other groups are trying to collaborate to bring this big circus group and they want to know their budget ahead of time so they can start working on that.
Vince: I think if we do do it we should say that people can ask us for their number ahead of time if they really need it to start figuring out programming because some people might be hesitant to ask.
Peace: The only reason I would be hesitant would be if we go back and redo a budget.
Vince: That would be the next committee.
Elijah: What if they try to argue their number?
Peace: I can see that happening.
Peace: I think it would helpful to keep a shared google doc of do’s and don’ts for the committee for next semester.
Natalia: How do we feel about paying for retreats?
Vince: I agree with what Peace was saying about how it’s important especially for cultural orgs but they can’t go too crazy on the price.
Natalia: Yeah but how do we measure crazy?
Vince: I think a lot of policies we make are total arbitrary and designed to make sure we don’t spend down our budget and I think it’s necessary sometimes.
Hassan: Caps on retreats disportionately affect bigger groups than smaller groups.
Natalia: We could give a range, like 1-10 people 100$, 10-20, another amount.
Monique: Then people would just put the bigger range.
Natalia: I think we could continue to take retreats on a one-on-one basis because I think we’ve been pretty good at doing that. Because I also think there’s a difference between saying you’re going on a retreat to bond and saying you’re going on a retreat somewhere to do these specific activities that relate to the mission statement.
Vince: I feel that giving a cap per person gives us the ability to not cut the retreat fully, because it would give us a way to cut without completely cutting the whole thing.
Peace: I think the cap thing makes it easier for people to ball out on their retreat. I think another alternative would be like subsidizing the retreat like a conference. But also the higher we tell people to may, they might ask for more.
Natalia: We could tell them to meet with us to plan a local retreat. Because people put things on their budget all the time that we would have funded if they had packaged it differently.
Peace: I think the subsidy thing varies highly on how many people are trying to go.
Monique: I think it also depends on where people are trying to go.
Hassan: It’s also de-incentivising low income students to take retreats. Like they should pay $100 to go to Cleveland.
Peace: We could also do a percentage instead of a flat subsidy. I think phrasing it in a way that says SFC will subsidize a percentage of the trip would be ideal and then it would be up to the people running the trip to determine who’s paying.
Elijah: Wait if you have a set number of people to go but someone can’t afford the unsubsidized amount they’d have left over money.
Natalia: We could just withhold the extra money.
Elijah: Once you assign their budget, it’s theirs.
Natalia: Proposal to fund retreats a maximum of 75% of the budgeted cost.
Elijah: I’ll put a proposal up for 80%.
Peace: Proposal for 70%.
Vince: I think we should just sit on it and think about because this is really isn’t any different from what we’re doing now.
Hassan: How do people feel about not having the cap and just maintaining status quo?
Natalia: No, we need the cap.
Peace: I also think we need a cap just like how we do for conferences.
Elijah: Student groups also need to pay a part in the retreat because it’s more of an indirect impact on campus than a direct impact.
Vince: Proposal for a cap to go into effect for this budgeting season.
Does not pass
Proposal for a cap to go into effect for next budgeting season.
Elijah: Proposal to fund retreats at a maximum of 80% of budgeted cost.
Does not pass.
Proposal to fund retreats at a maximum of 75% of budgeted cost.
SFC Meeting Minutes
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